Category Archives: Travel Re-Dos

My Big Fat Stupid Travel Announcement

This is as close as I got to the Eiffel Tower

I’m going back to Paris.  That’s right, you read that correctly.  I’m going back to Paris.  Next year.  In April/May.  By myself.  To Paris.

For those of you who have been reading this blog since last summer, this may come as a shock.  Hell–it came as a shock to every single person I know.  I didn’t like Paris at all.  Yet I’m returning, for reasons that I will eventually divulge.

But the point of this post is this–given my last summer experience, what should I change?  What things did I do wrong when planning my Paris trip, and how can I fix them?  I’m very, very, very open to suggestions!

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Answer honestly–how many of you would love to hear about a return trip to some of my least favorite destinations?  I’m willing to bet many of you would be at least a little curious. 

Well, you are all doubly in luck–first, I shall be returning to one of my least favorite US cities, New York City.  And I shall be taking my poor husband–who loves New York, as he lived there for six years–with me.  He’s understandably nervous.

I’m going for a weekend trip at the end of April.  I was clicking around on Priceline, and lo and behold they accepted a bid on a hotel I was not expecting to go through.  So for $115/night, we shall be staying at a 3.5 star hotel directly across from Rockefeller Center–and six short blocks from the convention that is the purpose of the trip. 

But more on that later.  I did say you were ‘doubly’ in luck, and here’s why–I’m thinking there’s darn near a 100% chance that I’ll be going back to…drumroll please…Paris.  That is, at least within the next 18 months.  It may or may not be with my husband–I’d rather it be WITH him, but he’s understandably a bit apprehensive about that idea.  So be honest–how many of you would be thrilled to read about my return trip?  The goal would be to ‘do it right this time’–which will include NOT going during the summer (and thus requiring me to travel without the husband, much to his relief) –with the purpose of being able to write about a major trip do-over.  I’m doing a Disney World do-over with my mother in a few weeks, and I’ll be writing about that as well.  But I just have so many great, bitchy posts about Paris–I need a comparison trip. 

I’m totally doing it.  Especially if I find a fare sale next spring like the one I stumbled upon yesterday–$414 RT from ABE to London Heathrow.  I’m not going to lie–I contemplated booking it, despite my lack of time or money right now. 

Am I insane?  Of course I am.  But at least I’m aware of it–right?

This Is How Long It Takes Me To Forget

I. Hate. Paris.

Exactly six months ago we returned from Europe Trip 2010.  Today I started planning Europe Trip 2011.

Six months, it seems, is the statute of limitations on my memory.  If you’ve been reading this blog since that trip, and are anxiously awaiting another train wreck of a trip, well…your wait shall be worthwhile.  We’re going back!

First, I suppose I should address why we are returning.  Though I’m not one of those wives who, you know, wants to make her husband happy or anything crazy like that, I told him that he could pick our summer vacation destination.  Unlike previous years, we are only going to take one trip.  I thought it was only fair that he pick the location, as I’ve had complete trip planning control for the last few years.

He picked Amsterdam.

I did many cost comparisons, trying to prove to him that other destinations would be just as much fun but infinitely less expensive.  Sadly, everywhere he wants to go is insanely expensive.  His second choice was Napa.  Even given the half-as-much airfare, it is a more expensive trip.  Anyone who has priced hotels or apartments in Napa or Sonoma county can attest to this.

So he decided that we are going back to Amsterdam.  Ok.  That’s fine.  I know that I like it there.  It’ll be fun.  But then the trip blossomed–as all trips of mine do.  But more on that later.

Today at lunch, we discussed ‘what we learned’ from the first Europe trip . Fortunately we have this post to remind us.  Ah, yet another benefit of obsessive blogging–one always has posts to help jog the memory.  Based on those lessons, here are the things we are doing differently.

Lesson:  Guidebooks are bullshit.  There’s no way anyone can do as much in a day as is suggested.

Application:  We have one goal per day.  Example goals include ‘drink beer’, ‘walk across bridge’, and ‘eat chocolate’.  These are individual goals for individual days.

Lesson:  It is worth the extra money you’d spend to stay somewhere more centrally located.

Application:  We will only be considering extremely central lodging options.

Lesson:  It is worth the extra money you’d spend to fly into and out of somewhere closer to your starting and ending points, even if they are different.

Application:  We are flying to Prague and out of Amsterdam.  More on the Prague thing later.

Lesson:  Blogging whilst traveling is not always the best idea.

Application:  While I will be writing as we travel, and even posting here (and on my new education-themed blog, soon to be linked) we are actually avoiding places with wifi.  I will also not be advertising this blog on Rick Steves.  See Rick Steves rant, soon-to-be-posted.  (And yes, this time it IS a rant, thank you very much semantics police.)

Lesson: I like to travel by train.

Application:  We will be, um, traveling by train.  A lot.

I’d like to add an additional lesson to my list of ‘things I learned’, even though I didn’t fully learn this lesson until today.

Lesson:  People on the Rick Steves message board are often very helpful; however, many of these people are very often giant assholes.

Application:  I will not be using the Rick Steves message boards for advice.

I cannot believe that I did not realize this until now.  But I guess it is better late than never, right?

Up next…1.  The Europe Trip details.  2.  My beef with RS boards (but not with actual Rick Steves–he rocks, as do his books and his site, random assholes who post there not withstanding.)  3.  More on my upcoming Orlando trip(s).

I’ve Got to be Kidding Me

Shortest blog post ever:

I just spent the last half hour trying to figure out how much a train ticket from Amsterdam to Prague would cost.